Last week, IHS held a second public meeting on health issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. This session, held at the Health and Human Services Hubert Humphrey Building in Washington, DC, was part of a series to gain a better understanding of the health care needs of AI/AN LGBT individuals.
This meeting was planned due to requests from community members for continued conversations with IHS leadership during the United States Conference on AIDS. While HIV and AIDS are not LGBT-specific health issues, the LGBT population is often disproportionately burdened by HIV infections. Several of the sessions’ participants were able to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend both meetings.
Participants brought a number of concerns to the table, including recommendations in the areas of clinical practice, behavioral health, customer service and organizational strategies. Additionally, participants stressed the importance of including traditional and cultural components when addressing AI/AN LGBT health care needs and delivery challenges.
We thank our participants for offering us the opportunity to advance and promote the health of American Indian and Alaska Native LGBT communities.